“I have to be 100% honest, I’ve never watched the show, and there’s a particular reason,” she said on the podcast “Hollywood Raw” on Monday, March 30. “I know it’s based on my mom [Joan Rivers] and Phyllis Diller, a lot of these different women.”
Judging by the plotline, it’s easy to see how that might just be the case. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel follows the life of Midge Maisel played by Rachel Brosnahan. In the show, Midge tries to make it as a standup comedian in the late 1950s after her husband left her for another woman. The series premiered in 2017 and Melissa, 52, said it was so hard for her to watch it because her mom died in 2014.
“It was still so soon after my mom’s death and so raw to me,” she confessed. After the series picked up steam and was renewed for a second and third season, Melissa thought it was only right the cast acknowledge her mother as being an inspiration for the show.
“[I] would have loved more than anything an email just saying, ‘Hey, your mom was one of the inspirations for this, we hope you love watching the show as much as we enjoy making it,'” the actress told host Dax Holt. “I have never heard a single word from anyone, ever, involved in the show … I guess hurtful is the word, that they never even just said [anything].”
Justice finally came for Melissa when Jane Lynch gave the late Fashion Police star a shout-out after winning a 2019 Emmy for her role in the series. “I sent flowers to Jane Lynch,” the Joy actress recalled. “… Because she actually acknowledged my mom. I sent her flowers saying, ‘Thank you.'”
In December 2019, Amazon announced The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel was renewed for a fourth season. Although Melissa didn’t say if she’ll ever tune into the show, we do understand why it might be a bit difficult for her to watch Midge Maisel’s life on TV. Joan was an icon and no one could ever fill her shoes!